Denis Onyango and Sundowns are into the group stages of CAF Champions League for the 7th successive time Credit: Mamelodi Sundowns Media

Former Uganda Cranes captain Denis Onyango has been showered with praise after helping Mamelodi Sundowns claim a 2-0 win over Orlando Pirates on Saturday.

Onyango helped Sundowns continue their unbeaten run as well as a clean sheet while opening up a five-point gap at the top of the standings.

The 36-year-old who was often worked throught the whole match notably saved from Pirates’ Bandile Shandu just past the half-hour mark.

Shandu had delivered a powerful shot from an acute angle after racing down the right flank but Onyango parried it away for a corner.

Namibian-born striker Peter Shalulile did all the damage with two unanswered goals that sent Orlando Pirates packing but both coaches lauded the Ugandan.

“One must give credit to Denis, and maybe that’s why he is Africa’s No 1,” Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi told media.

“He kept us in the game, and he made some sterling saves. Those saves now look like we had the game in our hands, but the truth of the matter is if he did not make those saves, the game could have turned out differently.”

Pirates assistant coach Fadlu Davids also praised Onyango. “They (Sundowns) have a top, top goalkeeper. He should have been the ‘Man of the match” – he made two, three top-class saves.

“We learnt lessons today and these we have to take. We need to be more clinical in these moments. Sundowns had two moments, and good moments too. They took it, and that was the difference on the day.”

Onyango retired from the international football on April 12, 2021. He ended his 13-year career after amassing over 70 caps with the Cranes since 2005.

Deputy Editor at Kawowo Sports. He is an aspiring Sport Psychologist.

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